For law firms utilizing electronic invoices, the accompanying email offers a valuable opportunity for client communications. While most firms use basic email templates with minimal information, inventive attorneys craft these emails to promote quicker payments and strengthen the attorney-client relationship.
The task descriptions included in law firm invoices tend to be brief and to-the-point. Well-crafted invoice emails provide more complete task explanations that have the potential to positively impact the level of client services. While legal clients have a general idea about the work that goes into their representation, most have limited understanding of the full value of the services they actually receive.
By including a more detailed explanation within the emails, lawyers can better demonstrate the knowledge, skill, and expertise that went into completing invoiced tasks. When clients have a stronger appreciation for tasks fulfilled in their cases, they are more likely to remit full payment in a timely manner.
Sample Language to Maximize Emails
An optimized invoice email is all about intention and the language included. Law firms need to employ language that demonstrates effort, informs the client, and provides direction. From the successes to the disappointments, firms should take advantage of the opportunity that invoice emails offer.
Explain the Negative and Reassure
Law firms should not ignore the negatives. The invoice email allows for a description of what occurred while still emphasizing the firm’s continuous efforts to secure an overall positive result. Clients don’t want to hear bad news, but it can be reassuring to know that their legal counsel is addressing the issue and taking steps to further their case. Here is some sample language regarding a negative turn of events:
In response to the judge’s denial of your petition, our office is ready to begin working on your appeal and will earnestly pursue all possible remedies on your behalf.
Though our attorneys diligently argued your position to the court, the judge, unfortunately, sided with opposing party on their motion to suppress. In response, we noted a timely objection to preserve the issue for a possible appeal.
Please note that, despite several efforts to negotiate a positive resolution, the opposing party continuously refuses to adequately participate in the settlement proceedings. As a result, we are preparing to move forward with the trial.
There is no need to include these detailed explanations with every invoice, but they can be particularly useful at strategic points during representation.
Accentuate the Positive
It’s also important to highlight those times when law firm tasks result in a positive outcome. Every small win contributes to the overall success of a legal matter. Here is some language for reporting those positive outcomes:
After extensive negotiation, the opposing party has agreed to meet the terms you requested within your contractual agreement. We will now move forward with drafting the contract documents and securing final signatures for execution of the agreement.
By filing a timely response to opposing counsel’s motion for a continuance and presenting persuasive arguments to the presiding judge, we were able to secure a ruling in your favor and successfully prevent against opposing counsel’s efforts to delay the case.
Our extensive research efforts have identified case precedents that we believe will prove highly useful should your matter go to trial. One case includes details similar to the specifics of your matter and ended with a verdict that strongly supports your arguments.
These types of detailed statements help clients better comprehend and appreciate the firm’s efforts towards a positive matter outcome.
Overdue Invoice Reminder
For client accounts with overdue balances, invoice emails should include a reminder and request for timely payment. Here are a few samples of how to best address this sensitive point:
This is a friendly reminder that your invoice in the amount of [amount owed on invoice] was due for payment on [date due]. Please remit payment through our client portal within the next [number of days] days. Thank you.
We hope this email finds you well. Please note that we have yet to receive your payment for the invoice due on [date due] for the amount of [amount due]. Please advise as to when we can expect to receive payment for this overdue balance. Thank you.
With these simple reminders, law firms can communicate their expectation of payment in a friendly, professional, and effective manner.
Requesting Valuable Feedback
Successful client services hinge on a law firm’s willingness to gauge and respond to client satisfaction. The invoice email is a great way to get that done. The email should include language that invites clients to contact the office with their questions or concerns. For firms that utilize client satisfaction surveys, the invoice email can also be used to solicit responses. Here are some sample clauses to include:
We hope that you are fully satisfied with the legal services received from our office. Please help us serve you better by completing our brief client satisfaction survey. We welcome your honest answers, so that we can address where improvement is needed within the firm.
Please complete an online review of our law firm at this website (include website address).
We strive to provide each of our clients with quality legal representation. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the office. Our staff is always ready to speak with you and work to remedy any concerns you may have about your matter.
By including a feedback request in their invoice emails, law firms can better connect with current clients, while also demonstrating their commitment to providing excellent legal services.
Asking for Referrals
Invoice emails provide a perfect opportunity for requesting referrals, especially if there has been a positive outcome in the case. There are various ways to ask for referrals, but here is some sample language that law firms may include:
May we check back with you in six months to see if you have any further legal needs?
Do you have any friends or family members with legal needs our firm may be able to assist?
We appreciate any referrals you may provide.
We also assist with [other firm practice areas]. Should you have legal needs in these areas, please don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance.
Please contact our office to discuss any additional legal needs you may have.
All referrals are appreciated.
Transform Law Firm Invoice Emails into Valuable Communications
With legal tech systems like TimeSolv legal billing software, law firms can create customized invoices specific to their brand. But law firm leaders can take this feature a step further with detailed invoice emails. It only takes a bit of effort and the right language for firms to transform their invoice emails into valuable communication tools.
About Erika Winston: Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, Personal Touch Edits, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.
The post How to Effectively Optimize Law Firm Invoice Emails appeared first on Law Technology Today.
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